Waldorf Education is now the largest independent, non-denominational school system and the fastest growing private school movement in the world. There are over 900 Waldorf schools in 83 countries, with over 250 in the United States alone.
The Waldorf school movement arose from the widespread search for new social and educational values after the terrible devastation of World War I. The goal of Waldorf Education is a lofty one, to aid in the development of free, self-aware human beings capable of creating peaceful and ennobling lives for themselves and for humanity.
There is no particular doctrine or agenda taught. Instead the aim is to bring out the very best in each child, to teach them in a way that sparks and nurtures their natural love of learning and allows their unique qualities to grow and blossom to the fullest.
The foundation for the curriculum is an understanding of the child as an intellectual, moral, social, and spiritual being. Our belief is that a fulfilled and creative life involves considerably more than mental development in service of the ability to earn a living. Important as that is, children also need the balance provided by the strong and healthy development of their emotional life.
Healthy emotional development is nurtured by conveying knowledge experimentally as well as academically. That which speaks to the imagination and is deeply experienced stirs and activates the feelings and is remembered and retained. Learning becomes much more than the acquisition of quantities of information, it becomes an engaging voyage of discovery of the world, and of oneself. The sixth grader who, as part of the class study of Roman history, has acted the part of Cassius or Calpurnia, or even Caesar himself, has not only absorbed Shakespeare’s immortal language but has learned courage, presence of mind, and what it means to work as a member of a team for a goal greater than the sum of its parts.